When it comes to video editing, the PC platform has a decent number of editing software packages available for it. Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, along with Sony Vegas, seem to top the charts when it comes to the top pro and pro-sumer editing suites. While Sony Vegas offers differing levels of editing software from beginner to pro, and even Adobe offers a lower end, more affordable, Premiere Elements package, the industry standard Avid Media Composer has no such option to help acquaint beginners with their software and interface. You can get a 30 day trial version of the software, but a "light version" of the software with a more affordable price tag, was always missing. That is, until now!
In an effort to get more users to try out their software, and get acquainted with their way of editing, Avid Media Composer | First was announced. This new editing software option by the industry broadcast and film industry leader, is modified version of their full suite, that still allows filmmakers on a budget, to create their stories, and make them look and sound professional. This version will of course have fewer options, and none of the ability to hook into the professional hardware and collaboration interfaces, but it will allow you to upgrade capabilities along the way with a 24/7 in-app marketplace.
The marketplace allows you to pick up new plugins, stock footage, and increase the capabilities of the basic software, as you progress in your skill. So instead of splurging for the entire Media Composer Suite, and drowning, users can become acquainted with the software, and add functionality as needed. Because, let's face it, a suite that is responsible for all the 2015 Oscar Nominees, and 99% of most Prime Time TV (including Game of Thrones), can be daunting for the beginning editor.
So the real question is, if people are happy with their Sony Vegas, and Adobe Premiere Pro, why would one want to change to a whole new way of editing their videos? It's like asking the Mac devoted, to give up their iMovie or Final Cut. After all, you do become proficient at editing, in your chosen software. Sometimes you even buy into a hardware ecosystem (ahem...Apple) that's hard to get out of. The company knows this, and that's why Avid Media Composer | First will be free, and it will be available on both PC and Mac.
This is an extremely smart move by the industry leader. Not only will they capture the next generation of filmmakers, like students, families, businesses, and budget conscious filmmakers, but they will also train a new generation of users, in their workflow. While most people will be happy with the basic functions, those that want to work for broadcast or for big budget films, will be ready to jump in to the full blown suite quickly. Plus, it gives those of us using other software suites, a bit of a kick to try it out on our own time.
By having a free, and seemingly extensible version, waiting for us at anytime, we can learn at our own pace. The only things that will hold us back is the cloud storage for projects, and the limited number of projects. However, besides the aforementioned in-app store, there will be options to pay for additional storage and project limits. More than likely too, Avid will probably encourage users to upgrade, with additional sales incentives, with either their standalone, or subscription services on the full blown Media Composer.
There's no release date for the software at the moment, but with NAB Show 2015 kicking off this week, which is the COMPUTEX of the Video and Film-making world, we should be hearing more about that soon enough.